A low cost coating for protecting metallic base system substrates from high temperatures, high gas velocity oxidation, thermal fatigue and hot corrosion is described. The coating is particularly useful for protecting vanes and blades in aircraft and land based gas turbine engines. A lacquer slurry comprising cellulose nitrate containing high purity silicon powder is sprayed onto the superalloy substrates. The silicon layer is then aluminized to complete the coating. The Si-Al coating is less costly to produce than advanced aluminides and protects the substrate from oxidation and thermal fatigue for a much longer period of time than the conventional aluminide coatings. While more expensive Pt-Al coatings and physical vapor deposited MCrAlY coatings may last longer or provide equal protection on certain substrates, the Si-Al coating exceeded the performance of both types of coatings on certain superalloys in high gas velocity oxidation and thermal fatigue. Also, the Si-Al coating increased the resistance of certain superalloys to hot corrosion.